Encyclopedic Dictionary of Pyrotechnics

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A number of Encyclopedic Dictionary entries have appeared or will appear in various pyrotechnic publications as a form of advertising. As those articles are published, we will post them here. The entries currently available are: aerial shell apparent angular diameter, aerial shell burst height, aerial shell burst spread, aerial shell drift, bullet effect, catalyzed propellant burning, ejection baffle, falling leaves, Hopkinson effect, Hopkinson pressure bar effect, igniter cord, ignition propagation energy diagram, incendiary device, inertial confinement, nozzleless motor, rocket motor mount, pressure transducer, safety hierarchy, types of propellant burning and Vieille equation. These combined entries are available for download from this PDF file .
Book Reviews (links to the reviews that have appeared are below): Fireworks Business, September, 2012 by FB Staff. American Fireworks News, September, 2012 by John Steinberg. Fireworks Business, October, 2012 by John Conkling. PGI Bulletin, November, 2012 by Robert Winokur. The Detonator, Nov-Dec, 2012 by Paul Cooper. Fireworks by Chris Pearce. Price for shipment anywhere in the world is $39:

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The 3-volume set of hard-bound books is now available in both Black and White and full Color. Because the books are Print-on-demand, they are quite expensive. Also, it takes up to 2 weeks for the books to be delivered in the US. Please note that with the purchase of a CD you are permitted to print a Black and White and/or Color copy using your own printer although even that is quite expensive.


The total price for the 3-volume color set within the US is US $240:


The total price for the 3-volume color set to Canada and Mexico is US $275:



The total price for the 3-volume color set to all other countries is US $300:



The total price for the 3-volume Black and White set within the US is US $120:


============================================================ Primary Authors and Editors:

K. L. Kosanke, B. J. Kosanke, Barry T. Sturman and Robert M read review. Winokur

Secondary Authors and Editors:

Lawrence Weinman, Ed Brown, Thaine R. Morris, Michael A. Hiskey, Monona Rossol, D. Ron Dixon, David R. Dillehay, David Chapman, Wesley D. Smith, Alan C. Whitmore, Naminosuke Kubota, Clifford J. Rotz, Alessandro E. Contini

 Other Contributors and Acknowledgments (alphabetical):

Stanley Azzopardi, Brian S. Bauer, Russell Clark, Randy Culp, Greg Deputy, Tom DeWille, Vernon Estes, Michael C. Feldman, Randall M. Feldman, Rick Fleming, Richard J. Fullam III, Ron Gilbert, Dennis Griesser, Garry W. Hanson, Lansden E. Hill, Jr., Harold A. Kantrud, Steve Majdali, T. W. McCreary, Steve McDanal, Troy Prideaux, Gary C. Rosenfield, Larry Schoeneman, Takeo Shimizu

Further Contributors and Acknowledgments (alphabetical):

Scot K. Anderson, Bruce K. Beck, John Bennett, Rob Berk, R. Bowes, Toni Busuttil, Tony Cardell, Dan Chubka, Paul W. Cooper, Bernard E. Douda, Gary Fadorsen, Reuben Goldberg, Donald J. Haarmann, Thomas H. Handle, Daniel L. Hewlett, M. Keith Hudson, Chloe Jennings-White, Ernst-Christian Koch, Damien Liu-Brennan, A. Paul Marriott, Ken Nixon, Bill A. Raynault, Tom Rebenklau, Forrest A. Rhoads, Rachel Robbins, John Sanderson, Lynn Sarkisian, Dan Stegemann, Bill Stein, John R. Steinberg, Martin E. Steinke, R. Turcotte, Fred Wade, Ron Walker, Tom Wenke, Axel Winner, Richard Wolter Sr., Tadao Yoshida

 Photo/illustration credit is provided with each image unless provided by one of the primary authors.


  • The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Pyrotechnics (and Related Subjects) is an updated and greatly expanded version of the Illustrated Dictionary of Pyrotechnics, originally published in 1995. It is initially being released as a CD. The Encyclopedic Dictionary consist of more than 4600 entries (not counting the 3300 cross-references, abbreviations and symbols), 1200 large-format (8-1/2 x 11 inch) pages, including 3000 photographs and illustrations, 600 pyrotechnic formulations and 500 data tables. In addition to many more entries, more explanatory information is included, with many entries ranging from 1/2 to 1 (or even several) pages.
  • The CD is not password protected or encrypted, so you are free to download the 3 large PDF files to your hard drive and to print a hardcopy for your own use. Beyond that, we are relying on your honoring our copyright and not producing copies of the CD.

Historical information:

  • We started working on this project shortly after the first Illustrated Dictionary of Pyrotechnics, was published in 1995. We gathered information and worked on what would be an expanded version of the Dictionary, which was intended to be available in about two years. At that time, we envisioned a book around 400 pages. However, the work in publishing the Journal of Pyrotechnics, did not allow much time to work on the new dictionary.
  • About 7 years ago, we started serious work on the current book. Along the way, we sought help, at various levels, from more than 100 people, who contributed written entries, sketches for illustrations and photographs. Although we spent most of the past two years working almost full time editing and finalizing the text, it seems like there is always more that could be done.
  • As part of the technical editing process, each entry was assigned to one of 14 subject areas and then at least three technical editors, with solid expertise in one of those subject areas reviewed each of the entries associated with that subject area. This was followed by copy editing by multiple authors addressing format and other minor text related issues.
  • In July, we decided to release the first edition of the new dictionary. In recognition that this project will be continuing, we released the first edition only as a CD.

The future:

  • We are already working on the second edition and hope that readers of this first edition will:
    • Offer comments on any improvements that should be made to the first edition, including suggestions for additions to the current entries.
    • Perhaps write and submit some new entries for topics that are not covered.
    • Provide images – either from photographs or from video clips, for example, to show the development of an aerial shell.

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